So I’m going through our photos as I prepare to WOW you in Los Angeles on August 5th and 6th (for events info click here) and I found this fantastic pic of my grandmother, Mitzi Cummings, visiting the set of ‘The Great Ziegfield’ in October of 1935, just a few months before it was released to great fanfare in March of 1936.
This photo would have been taken for Mitzi’s popular Photoplay magazine column but after scouring the relevant issues in the Media History Project archive, it doesn’t look as if it was used in a story. What a shame!
So it’s a great privilege to be able to share it with you now 82 years later. And how about that line up?? From left to right is Reginald Owen, Ann Pennington, Mitzi, Fanny Brice, Doris Warner Leroy, and William Powell.
I don’t think Doris Warner LeRoy, the daughter of Harry Warner, and who at the time was married to Mervyn LeRoy, had any direct connection to the film – maybe she’s just visiting a pal? A bit of trivia for you: three years later, Mervyn LeRoy would be appointed head of production at MGM. Doris later married director Charles Vidor.
Remember what I always say, people: there was zero degrees of separation for Hollywood’s film colony!
Ann Pennington actually performed next to Fanny Brice, Eddie Cantor, W.C. Fields, Will Rogers and others at the original Ziegfield Follies in New York City, which generated plenty of our early entertainment business talent. During her time at the Follies, Pennington was famous as a “Shake and Quiver Dancer” and was apparently a gifted tap dancer. Unfortunately, her role in the film was cut before its release.
Do you know who the two standing dancers are? If so, join the conversation on my official Facebook page where this photo has also been posted.
OK back to my photo selections! See you in LA!